--Virginia Woolf, The Waves
I think it was this: like most of us, he was carrying a misery in his soul. I don't say it to forgive what he done, only to say it as true as I can. He was a wrong-minded man, but inside- I swear this is true- he was always that little boy eating that fried-egg sandwich in that dark hallway while the steam pipe dripped water on his head. I don't ask you to excuse him, only to understand that there's people who don't have what others do, and sometimes they get hurtful in their hearts, and they puff themselves up and try all sorts of schemes to level the ground- to get the bricks and joints all plumb, Ray used to say. They take wrong turns, hit dead ends, and sometimes they never make their way back.
--Lee Martin, The Bright Forever
This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
--William Shakespeare, King Lear
Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.
--Arthur Miller, The Crucible
Whereas my grandfather was getting used to a much more terrifying reality. Holding my hand to keep his balance, as trees and bushes made strange, sliding movements in his peripheral vision, Lefty was confronting the possibility that consciousness was a biological accident. Though he'd never been religious, he realized now that he'd always believed in the soul, in a force of personality that survived death. But as his mind continued to waver, to short-circuit, he finally arrived at the cold-eyed conclusion, so at odds with his youthful cheerfulness, that the brain was just an organ like any other and that when it failed he would be no more.
--Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
Her heart swelled with the high holiness of it all. Imminence was all around. She was both warrior and shining spear. She was a sword glinting in the depths of night, a lance of light piercing the darkness. There would be no mistakes this time.
--Kate Atkinson, Life After Life
Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk — real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.
--Jack Kerouac, On The Road